SailNet Community - Reply to Topic

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > How Many Have a Liferaft?
 Not a Member? 


Thread: How Many Have a Liferaft? Reply to Thread
Title:
  

By choosing to post the reply below you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Message:
Trackback:
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:
 

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below


Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below


Topic Review (Newest First)
07-23-2013 11:46 AM
dvuyxx
Re: How Many Have a Liferaft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Curious what a service-able raft is? Was it re-certified? If so, a used raft is perfectly good. If not, one could have no idea that there isn't a leak, unless they've tested it, or that the inflation canister will even go off. Seems do separate and splits form at the folds.
Service-able meaning that a certified service-center of that liferaft manufacturer deems the life-raft young enough to still be re-certified, and when certified they are able to check the condition, inflate-deflate, and replace any components such as the inflation device. I've spoken to some manufacturers of some used life rafts that I was considering and they said that certain models were too old to service. My raft is four years old. But they might not service a raft, say 15 years old. Admittedly, there is a fine line where used life rafts start to cast doubts. I think I am outside of that window. Hopefully, we live to tell you how it turns out.
07-23-2013 06:51 AM
Minnewaska
Re: How Many Have a Liferaft?

Curious what a service-able raft is? Was it re-certified? If so, a used raft is perfectly good. If not, one could have no idea that there isn't a leak, unless they've tested it, or that the inflation canister will even go off. Seems do separate and splits form at the folds.
07-22-2013 09:30 AM
dvuyxx
Re: How Many Have a Liferaft?

I also found, after a year of searching, a used, never deployed, service-able raft for more than 1/2 price. The idea of a used raft might be disconcerting for some, but if it hasn't been deployed and has been stored correctly, and is still service-able, then I can live with that (no pun intended).

I think that the hard-raft supporters make good points. But for a coastal/bay sailor, I just need a raft that can keep us out of the water for a few hours and certainly less than a day at most. I cannot trust myself to rely on my hard dinghy. I just won't bring it all the time.
07-22-2013 01:06 AM
MedSailor
Re: How Many Have a Liferaft?

Joe,

To clarify my post a little more, when I'm challenging the collective wisdom in my post, I wasn't attributing any of that to you. The only part I intended to attribute to you was the comment about our regular tenders being short term.

I did read Callahan's book several times and am aware he wasn't in a FRIB. I REALLY like the look of the FRIB and would trade my pudgy for one in a heartbeat.

Also, when I'm talking about tenders in my post, I'm talking about regular old RIBs, and hard dinks, that have been home modified vs the packaged rafts.

Finally, I checked landfallnavigation.com quickly, and it turns out 4 person offshore rafts are more like 4-6,000. Plus yearly servicing fees. And yes, pudgy's are really expensive. I got a deal on mine, paying half price for like-new.

MedSailor
07-22-2013 12:54 AM
joebeach
Re: How Many Have a Liferaft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
.... Calahan's liferaft was trying to sink for the majority of the 76 days. His HEROIC measures kept it afloat....

I argue that our regular tenders, with some kind of shelter, and a ditch bag, are superior to the packaged raft....

Besides longevity your tender also has the advantage of being able to be maneuvered by oar or sail....


The only advantages I can see of the packaged rafts are that they are possibly easier to launch, and might fair better (than a regular tender) in a huge storm. Fairing better in a storm, however, only applies if you spend the big bucks on an "offshore" model with lots of ballast bags. As for the advantage of being easier to launch, your tender, you will have practiced launching, whereas most haven't actually practiced launching and boarding their raft.

The big storm is also NOT the only reason you'd be abandoning ship. The reasons I can think of to abandon are:

1: Fire.
2: Sinking by collision with debris.
3: Sinking by collision with whale.
4: Sinking by collision with ship.
5: Huge storm.

I really think that in case #5 you're probably screwed anyway....

In case 1-4 there is no huge storm, and no need for your ballast bags, and all that. What percentage of our time do we spend in storms anyway? Lyn and larry pardey, who sail full time and go off the beaten track say they're in gale or above conditions 3% of the times by their logs. The tradewind sailors that pick their windows sometimes never see a real storm.

So, I would like to ask again if everyone really thinks that the flimsy $8,000 raft that may or may not inflate, and is only superior 3% of the time, and can't be maneuvered, is really the better choice?
MedSailor
Medsailor, thanks for the reply. A couple of clarifications, below, regarding the above excerpts from your post.

First, Callahan's FRIB as noted above was not the raft he was adrift in - it was the one he designed afterwards, to correct the deficiencies of the raft he was adrift in. The Callahan FRIB is maneuverable by oar, sail, or motor - check the linked info.

So the FRIB, like the Pudgy, would have similar maneuverability and survivability to a hard or inflatable dink or RIB, plus it would "come with" the necessary additional life raft items such as a cover, sea anchor, flares, medical kit, etc., etc.

Second, as this is a new subject for me, I was asking for confirmation or clarification as to whether I understood what appeared to be the consensus (on SN- lol!) of the bulk of the posts on this thread. At this point, I don't "think that [or any particular] way" - it's still an open question in my mind as to whether dink + life raft is best, or some all-in-one option is best. Right now it's a theoretical question for me, but a few years down the road, it may not be.

A separate point is that you state the cost of a packed life raft is @ $8K. Assuming this is right (I haven't checked), then the Portland Pudgy as fully equipped for life raft duty ($10K+) might be more expensive by itself than a regular dink plus life raft. Meaning that the additional margin of safety of having the life raft might be had at literally no cost (other than a bit of storage space in a lazarette, the psychological issues of likely reactions in an extreme emergency, as previously mentioned in this thread, aside) vs. the fully equipped PP. There are no cost estimates that I am aware of for the Callahan FRIB.

Interesting - though I realize that at some point in making potentially life or death decisions, cost is irrelevant.

I also realize that this post still does not resolve the issue of whether a suitably equipped, augmented dink might be a preferable or at least equally worthy option to a dink plus life raft.

To answer that, at minimum we'd need to consider what sort of additional prep and costs would one need to make a dink the functional equivalent of a blue water life raft. A cover, a sea anchor, storage for food/water/medical kit, communications, a swim ladder, etc.? Where and how are these to be stored so as to be accessible quickly as needed, yet not clutter up the dink for its regular uses? And then there's the issue of having all this already packed in one convenient place - how useful might it be to abandon ship, if it is inevitably sinking, in a dink *with* a packed life raft? Can one open the life raft in the dink, take out the emergency gear, and toss or tow the raft shell? Maybe this is a silly question - I have zero practical experience here, so my apologies in advance if warranted.

Thanks to everyone so far for your thoughts. No doubt there are other lurkers here who hope to learn about critical emergency systems from teachers other than (their own) bad experiences....
07-22-2013 12:03 AM
MedSailor
Re: How Many Have a Liferaft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joebeach View Post
Reviewing this thread (full disclosure - I'm not a bluewater sailor, at least not yet), it appears that other than a packed life-raft that needs regular inspection and repacking, and may or may not work when needed, there are 4 potential double-duty dink-cum-life-raft options:

1 - Steve Callahan's FRIB, though it appears from the links above that it is not now in production;
2 - a Portland Pudgy with life raft options, new at least $5K and up to $10K depending on options (sailing kit, electric, solar, etc.) selected;
3 - a regular hard dink, or possibly a kayak/s; or
4 - an inflatable or RIB dink.

Clearly, items 3 & 4 are short term options at best, even surmising the addition of a (presumably custom) cover.
...
Interesting that you would say that. I think the exact opposite. My issue with pre-packaged liferafts is that they're flimsy and only designed for short term use. They often fail while in use, whereas our trusty tenders, be they hard dinks or hypalon/PVC inflatables give us years of service in the face of abuse (at least by me) I got over a decade of use/abuse out of my PVC Sevylar inflatable and it spent YEARS at at time (it had antifouling) in the water.

Calahan's liferaft was trying to sink for the majority of the 76 days. His HEROIC measures kept it afloat.

Dougal Robertson's raft DID sink and they were only alive to write "survive the savage sea" because all 6 of them spent the rest of their time in the rigid dink.

In the more recently published "66 days adrift" their raft nearly sank a couple times.

Then there are the accounts of people watching their rafts get serviced and they fail to inflate. There are also the rafts that DID sink with their occupants. These folks don't get to write books...


I argue that our regular tenders, with some kind of shelter, and a ditch bag, are superior to the packaged raft. The main reason is that if your raft sinks, you die. PERIOD. Your tender will inflate, will last for hundreds of days adrift (years/decades actually).

Besides longevity your tender also has the advantage of being able to be maneuvered by oar or sail. My colleague who is the only one I personally know who has used a liferaft in blue water says the only part where he thought he was going to die was when the freighter was maneuvering to meet his raft. He realized that if the ship maneuvered wrong, the raft would be run over, or sucked into the prop. He actually jumped from the raft and swam to the Jacob's ladder because the approach wasn't looking good. This wouldn't be as much of a problem with a set of oars to help...

The only advantages I can see of the packaged rafts are that they are possibly easier to launch, and might fair better (than a regular tender) in a huge storm. Fairing better in a storm, however, only applies if you spend the big bucks on an "offshore" model with lots of ballast bags. As for the advantage of being easier to launch, your tender, you will have practiced launching, whereas most haven't actually practiced launching and boarding their raft.

The big storm is also NOT the only reason you'd be abandoning ship. The reasons I can think of to abandon are:

1: Fire.
2: Sinking by collision with debris.
3: Sinking by collision with whale.
4: Sinking by collision with ship.
5: Huge storm.

I really think that in case #5 you're probably screwed anyway. See also Fastnet force 10 and the 1998 sydney to hobart. People didn't fair all that well in the rafts, but wouldn't have done better in their tenders.

In case 1-4 there is no huge storm, and no need for your ballast bags, and all that. What percentage of our time do we spend in storms anyway? Lyn and larry pardey, who sail full time and go off the beaten track say they're in gale or above conditions 3% of the times by their logs. The tradewind sailors that pick their windows sometimes never see a real storm.

So, I would like to ask again if everyone really thinks that the flimsy $8,000 raft that may or may not inflate, and is only superior 3% of the time, and can't be maneuvered, is really the better choice?

MedSailor
07-20-2013 04:02 PM
joebeach
Re: How Many Have a Liferaft?

Reviewing this thread (full disclosure - I'm not a bluewater sailor, at least not yet), it appears that other than a packed life-raft that needs regular inspection and repacking, and may or may not work when needed, there are 4 potential double-duty dink-cum-life-raft options:

1 - Steve Callahan's FRIB, though it appears from the links above that it is not now in production;
2 - a Portland Pudgy with life raft options, new at least $5K and up to $10K depending on options (sailing kit, electric, solar, etc.) selected;
3 - a regular hard dink, or possibly a kayak/s; or
4 - an inflatable or RIB dink.

Clearly, items 3 & 4 are short term options at best, even surmising the addition of a (presumably custom) cover.

As between items 1 & 2, while 1 *may* be better conceptually, only 2 is now available commercially. And it is $5K plus, clearly a big chunk of change for a smaller cruising boat that may itself cost only $5K-$20K itself.

Add to all of the above a ditch bag with short term necessaries, signaling and communication devices etc. And of course, proper boat maintenance and seamanship, which greatly help but cannot guarantee a safe passage.

So:

A - Am I reading this thread and understanding the blue-water life-raft options and associated issues correctly? Confirmation, but especially correction as appropriate, is welcome.

B - Assuming that I've got a decent basic understanding here, what are your opinions on the most sensible course of action for a day sailor and weekend cruiser on the Gulf or US Atlantic coasts to take?

My guess at B would be either a Portland Pudgy properly outfitted, or a dink of choice plus a packed life-raft, depending on their respective costs and on how often and far one ventures "outside" the ICW or sight of shore. (The more regularly outside, the stronger the case for the packed life-raft).

Thoughts and comments appreciated. TIA for helping this relative newbie learn to prepare for potentially rare but life-threatening tragedies, other than through direct experience.
07-20-2013 02:42 PM
smurphny
Re: How Many Have a Liferaft?

Part of my "sinking boat" strategy includes a kayak. I keep an 8' whitewater kayak mostly for exploration and fun. Within 30 miles, it would certainly be a ticket back to land. Time allowing, I would make sure the kayak, paddle and skirt were launched after the liferaft.
07-20-2013 01:08 PM
JonEisberg
Re: How Many Have a Liferaft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
I have been humbled by the sea and repetitively amazed by the ignorance and negligence of my fellow man. To carry a raft doesn't speak to a lack of seamanship and self reliance but rather to it's presence. From experience I know time may come when I may need to self rescue. Time may come that due to events beyond my control my boat may sink. So I have Winslow. It's inflated and repacked as suggested(i watch).It can be deployed in 15seconds by my 100lbs wife. I also have a true blue water boat with a collision bulkhead,2 Epirbs, ssb,etc. but in my mind and many others these things decrease the odds I will ever get in my raft but do not eliminate the need.
Hard dinghies or rafts are quite problematic on a boat. My rib is on davits when coastal. I can deploy it my myself. But it is lashed firmly to the foredeck off shore. Believe neither my wife nor myself could deploy a hard dinghy/raft in a significant seaway before we were swimming. Believe if lightly secured it would wash overboard.
Exactly... IMHO hard dinghies stowed on deck offshore are problematic on anything but the very largest of cruising yachts... Even when extremely well secured, any rigid tender with a high profile stowed on the foredeck will be vulnerable to damage, or being swept away by a boarding sea, or doing a significant amount of damage on deck... Even a liferaft stowed, as is so commonly seen, in a hard cannister in a cradle on the coachroof, can be extremely vulnerable in heavy weather, no comparison to the security of one stowed in a dedicated locker or well in the cockpit...

Rigid tenders offshore, or tenders secured in davits, represent way too much potential for drama, for me... Towing them, or bringing them on deck is one thing while coastal cruising, but for passagemaking, no way on anything short of a yacht WAY larger than I would care to be sailing, to begin with... :-)

Even on a vessel as large as NINA, presumably lost last month in the Tasman Sea, look at how vulnerable that tender would be in a storm, or the potential mayhem it might create on deck if it were broken loose in a knockdown, or by a deck-sweeping sea...


07-20-2013 10:18 AM
outbound
Re: How Many Have a Liferaft?

Barefoot-I think we live in different worlds
I have loans on my boats and my house. When interest rates are considerably lower than return on investment it's foolish to do otherwise. I also have insurance on them. I don't expect my house to burn or be storm damaged but still do. I maintain these pocessions as they are where I live. When I sell my house I'll probably pay off the boat loan and may self insure.Your statements about loans are demeaning and do not reflect the reality of many long term cruisers. I am dedicated to proper boat maintenance. The boat is worth as much as my house and I'm betting my life on it. That argument is also foolish. I have been humbled by the sea and repetitively amazed by the ignorance and negligence of my fellow man. To carry a raft doesn't speak to a lack of seamanship and self reliance but rather to it's presence. From experience I know time may come when I may need to self rescue. Time may come that due to events beyond my control my boat may sink. So I have Winslow. It's inflated and repacked as suggested(i watch).It can be deployed in 15seconds by my 100lbs wife. I also have a true blue water boat with a collision bulkhead,2 Epirbs, ssb,etc. but in my mind and many others these things decrease the odds I will ever get in my raft but do not eliminate the need.
Hard dinghies or rafts are quite problematic on a boat. My rib is on davits when coastal. I can deploy it my myself. But it is lashed firmly to the foredeck off shore. Believe neither my wife nor myself could deploy a hard dinghy/raft in a significant seaway before we were swimming. Believe if lightly secured it would wash overboard.
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:50 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.